Shopping in Memphis

sew memphis 3

This past weekend, seven of us from my family made our way down to Memphis, Tennessee, for a short vacation. It was the second music-focused vacation for a few of us (our first stop was Nashville several years ago already). But no matter what the focus of any vacation, there’s always time for a trip to a fabric store.

Mom and I both did a little research beforehand, looking for a good shop to try. Many of the more established stores are well outside town. And they were all very traditional. One even boasted that they didn’t carry any “garish” fabric. We kept looking.

Then we found Sew Memphis. It’s a little modern fabric store in the southern part of downtown Memphis, just an 8-minute drive from our hotel. The fabric displays are all adorable; they had found most of the display pieces at thrift stores, yard sales, or on the street.

sew memphis 1

sew memphis 2They also have a great workshop room; the day we were there, they had open studio where anyone can come in and get help on their projects. And while there aren’t a huge number of bolts, there is a nice selection of fabrics that both Mom and I loved. Here’s what I picked up.

sew memphis fabric

I’ve got a navy quilt in me somewhere, so I picked up a few fabrics that might go into that. And I got some orange to build up that nonexistent orange stash.

The next day, we walked down to Beale Street to do a little shopping. I honestly didn’t think I’d be blogging about any of the shops there, but then we came upon A. Schwab Dry Goods Store.

ASchwab 1

A pack of FreeSpirit pre-cuts in the window of the shop caught my eye, so we stopped in. And then the wonderfulness began.

ASchwab 2

This collection of reproduction antique toys is right inside the door.

ASchwab 4 Then Mom and I found the area where they had the fabric. It was all FreeSpirit pre-cuts, along with some FreeSpirit notebooks, cleverly displayed on an old fabric cutting table. The mechanism in the front measured the fabric and made a small cut where it was then torn to size.

ASchwab 5

They had some Moda Home items, too (I bought that compass napkin right there in front).

ASchwab 3

There was stuff for the men, too. As well as just a ton more of everything: shoes, dresses, sauces, candy, and much more. The building was awesome, too; it was three stories, and it looked like part of it was getting turned into a museum of retail. Just a super fun place to explore.

And finally, while this isn’t shopping related, I wanted to share this one picture from our tour of Graceland. It’s not real great (I’m still getting used to the camera on my phone, as you might have been able to tell from the shots above), but the room is covered in fabric. COVERED.


The walls and the ceiling use the same fabric, and the fabric is pleated on both. Over 300 yards of the fabric were used in the room. You can see on the couch, behind the pool table, there are throw pillows in coordinated fabric. Here’s a blog post from Threads with some better photos. Crazy cool.

Other highlights along the way included a tour of Sun Studio (my favorite tour of the trip), the Memphis Zoo, some great BBQ places, and some blues clubs. A great trip, indeed.

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  1. My Worst Idea Ever | Christine Doyle
  2. The Quilt I Might Take Apart | Christine Doyle

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